16 March 2006

A Grief Revisited

I remember well the day LightGirl was born. There are all sorts of details that are o so clear in my memory from that day. But this is the clearest of all. When she was finally clear of me and they had put her in the little basinette (this was a military facility, so no huggy-kissy stuff til she'd been fully cleaned and tested and etc.), and I was persistently asking after her gender, because it seemed that while everyone else had had a clear view of the important genitalia, I had not. And no one would answer the question. Finally, after hours of my asking, and only seconds of them not responding someone told me it was a girl. "Well, then," I said, "Hello, Lily." and I started talking to her. She was in the basinette by then and turned herself into a small backwards pretzel in order to look me in the eye and did for a full minute to reassure herself that her mom was in the house. She stole my heart in that moment and has had it ever since. To this very day when she needs reassurance that her mom is in the house she will look for me, find my eyes and stare me down. It's not a challenge, it's reassurance. Yes, I'm still here, yes, I still love her, yes, we're still connected.

It's been 12 years, 2 months and 16 days since then. Not all of them have been wonderful. Her first months were perfectly dreadful because she was colicky. UGH. Is all I have to say. But once we got through that she was the happiest little girl and has in general remained so to this day. The toddler years were demanding as all toddlers are. Preschool was preschool. I've chosen the burden of homeschooling and that has presented it's own set of challenges.

But now she is on the cusp of womanhood. And what a grand adventure it is going to be. Some days are perfectly horrid and I find myself gritting my teeth. Other days, I find us sitting at the table after LightBoy and LightHusband have gone off to other pursuits and she'll ask some question or other and it lights a great conversation ... one between two friends. And I see the glimpses of things to come. That as she grows, I will need to parent less and guide more and befriend more. That we will become peers in some odd way. Not exactly friends, not equals, but the relationship will even out somehow and we will find our way into each other's lives where our love for each other can fit without harming. Where we can dance together and sometimes she can lead, sometimes I can.

I'm not doing an especially good job of this, but having a daughter is one of the very great joys of my life. When I was first pregnant I was absolutely certain that God would never give me girls, because I did so badly with them. But then along came LightGirl. And as I approach middle age and look around and see what I want for her to get out of life and what I want to pass along to her, what is important and what is not, I know that in her is my greatest gift.

Perhaps it is for all these reasons and then for some that I cannot yet articulate that Rania's death has hit me so hard. I know what Hosnea will be missing. That she was just beginning to have a small woman in the house with whom to have an ocassional conversation. That Hosnea had dreams for her daughter breaking out of the paths of abuse and hatred that coming to the US represented and they are now gone. Having sons is nice and they fill a certain hole too. But a daughter ... well ... it's a grief beyond words.

I know that God has a plan in all of this. I know all the scripture that speaks to it. But if anyone trys to quote it to me right now I will throw my Bible across the room and break the window. Why did the hatred of Sudan have to reach across two continents and keep the bonds in place? Just when we thought they were broken?

Hosnea, my friend, my heart breaks for you. I have wept til my bed is wet with tears.
With love ...


Blogger kate said...

Sonja, this post is absolutely beautiful. I love to watch the precious way in which you and LightGirl relate.
I can't yet imagine what it must be for this long-suffering woman to lose such a beautiful light in her life. And, selfishly, I'm not sure I want to try.
God bless you, Hosnea.

3/17/2006 04:10:00 PM  

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